Chapter 1: How We Know What We Know and How We Know We Know
o Description of the state/operation of some aspect of the universe upon which
people/groups are prepared to act
o Product of social process
• Public/Government/Experts think knowledge is inadequate
o Funding bodies/Corporations/Universities accept research proposal
o Successful proposals carried out by research teams
o Findings communicated by professional organizations
o Communities/Government debate/legislate
Consulting an Authority as a Way of Knowing
• Authority because of…
• But…selection! Should have knowledge needed
No matter how prominent people are,
+ no matter how much authority/power they have ▯
their opinion on a subject is of no authority/power they have,
+ their opinion on a subject is of no more value than any other person’s
*unless they have expertise in the area
o 2 recognized authorities in the same field disagree
o Cannot answer question with assurance
o Unconvincing opinion
o New issue, no authorities
Research as a Way of Knowing
• Has the authority chosen the most appropriate research method?
Have all stages of the research been conducted properly?
Does the authority’s research address the relevant aspects of the question?
Has the authority made a valid interpretation of the research findings?
What are the limitations of the research? Chapter 2: Research as a Way of Knowing
• Outline of the Research Process
o Phase 1: Essential first steps
Researcher clarifies issue and research method